Petros' war

© 1971

A novel for teenagers and young readers

1974 Mildred Batchelder Award (U.S.A.)


1. Petros' war, New York: E.P.Dutton & Co, 1972 (English)
2. Petros' war, London: Victor Gollancz, 1972 (English)
3. La guerre de Petros, Paris: “Grand Angle” Editions G.P., 1976 (French)
4. La guerre de Petros, Paris: Le Livre de poche, Hachette Jeunesse, 1984 (French)
5. Mit 13 ein Mann, Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag, 1977 (German)
6. La storia di Petros, Milano: Mondadori, 1991, 3rd edition 1996 (Italian)
7. La guerra de Petros, Barcelona: Empuries, 1991 (Catalán)
8. La guerra de Petros, Barcelona: Fontanela, 1984 (Spanish-Castellano)
9. Petros' krig, Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1986 (Danish)
10. Tama on sotaa Petros, Helsinki: Werner Soderstrom Osakeyhtio, 1973 (Finish)
11. Petros og krigen, Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1974 (Norwegian)
12. Petros idet po gorodu, Moscow: Detskaja Literatura, 1974 (Russian)
13. Petros idet po gorodu, Erevan: Sovetakan Groh, 1979 (Armenian)
14. Petros’un Savaşi, Istanbul: Gozlem Yayinlari, 1980 (Turkish)
15. Istanbul: Kaldirac Yayinevi, under publication (Turkish)



Petros, a nine year old boy, is very sad because his cricket is dead. His elder sister, Antigone, wants to give him the box of her bracelet for burying it. Petros prefers to squeeze it in the crevice of the girder. But he didn’t have the time. The next morning he was waken up abruptly by his mother. “Wake up and get ready. There is war! Can’t you listen to the sirens?” It was the 28th of October 1940. Petros knows about the war in his books. He is thrilled by heroes, shields, swords and victories. Is it the same in reality? 
Young Petros lives the war, occupation and resistance together with his parents, his sister, his gradfather and his turtle, Theodore. We follow him in his long walk with all the real adventures that take place between October 1940 and October 1944, when Greece was liberated. 
«Local colour is not obtrusive; indeed, except for a few references to peculiar Greek festivals and foods, the scene might be any city of occupied Europe. Young readers may not take to the somewhat poetical patriotism of the young Greeks but most of the dialogue seems natural enough and often humorous. All the characters are vivid but one is outstanding -the hero's rather disreputable gamin friend, a kind of Athens Cockney, whose mischief is turned against the Germans but in the end costs him his life. Girls should find this story as absorbing as boys, for young Petros has an older sister and girl students play an important part in resistance activities. It is a book well worth having on school and public library shelves and deserves wide readership in the 11 to 13 age range. » Michael Thomas, The Times Educational Supplement, 26/1/1973